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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quickie - I need a cuppa.

0700/18th position 2603 01640 trip 129 CT 1877

I'd forgotten what it is like to be cold and wet and complacency was in the air - last night's little fracas was a useful reminder and I'm now properly waterproofed. Big tidy up just finished and we're back pointing at CT at about 4.5kts. Wind easing, barometer rising. Will probably get softer during the day.

And then it all went pearshaped

Enter, stage left, the Examiner in her hot pink leathers. We've been twin poling happily for a couple of days riding the top of the low down hill towards Cape Town but all good things etc. First a rapid change in wind direction NW back to SW along with barometer bottoming and starting to rise. Here beginneth the High, it seems. Then rain and squally gusts and time to roll in the red sail - Black murky night, Pete coming off watch, Old Fart no 2 goes out to do it - no prob - roll it in and tie it off, unroll a bit more genoa and adjust the pole, back below to get dry and make cuppa. Not so Fast, says Herself, all softly snarly like. Another gust and the top half of the red sail unrolls and starts to flog itself out if its little knickers. O.F. no 2 back out to sort - no easy way so try easing the halyard right off which does ease the flogging so OF2 to the foredeck in driving cold rain, naked except for skinny shorts to gather in flogging sail - all ok until mostly gathered in and - wouldn't ya know? - didn't ease enough halyard so can't get it all and now cant get back to ease more without losing control of the sail. Pete comes out and we eventually get it under control, squeeze it down the little ventilation hatch, put the pole away, tidy the string and get the genoa rolled in as well, remove the pole, tidy up and back below. OF2 by now shaking with cold and needing lukewarm cuppa from half an hour ago. Unseamanlike, you may well say - correctly - but things seldom happen according to Hoyle and you sometimes have to muddle through.
So now we're bare poling to the NE in pitch black night, both stormboards in to keep out cold rain in gusts, waiting for daylight when we will go out properly clad, make sure all the bits of string are properly sorted and get some sail up again. Meantime, write and send this, get another GRIB to see what's in store and make another cuppa.


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West of the Chain Locker

If you sit in Gordy's usual spot on the corner of the bar in the Chain Locker (Waterside pub in Falmouth, for the Australians and other Oddlanders) with your back to the fireplace, you would be looking more or less south with a smidge of west. That's where we are now but in a week or so - AGW - you will have to stand with your back to the fire as we pass you to the south, range 5000 nm as near as makes no difference, straight down the meridian. Celebrate with us - how about a nominal time of 1800 UTC on Nov 24th - a week today? Somebody please tell Dave Carne - we'll assume he might be in the top office - and Oz and Tall Paul and Adi and Lara and anyone else who might be around. Teleport us some ice for the G&Ts.

Today I used the last 4 slices of bacon to make onion, garlic, bacon, olives and parmesan rat to go with pasta and ok it was too. Paul and Pauline, please send our compliments to your butcher - bloody good bacon despite the oozy water, beautifully packed and it has lasted since about September 7th. Finished the eggs last week.